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Renewables was led by solar & wind projects, which in turn produce electricity


Electricity is central to many parts of modern life and will become even more so as its role in transport &  heating expands, replacing internal combustion engines (ICE) and gas boilers [IEA, 2023].  These replacements are typically more efficient, reducing energy demand, and have a growing impact on GHG emissions as electricity generation is decarbonized [IEA, 2023].


Expansion of renewable power gen in 2022 confirms upward trend of renewables against declining new fossil fuel capacity, which is led to a large extent by solar & wind resources, which in turn produce electricity [IRENA, 2023].


20% in 2022; 27% by 2030; 50% by 2050

With significant potential to mitigate emissions and decarbonize energy supply chains, electrification is an important strategy to reach net zero goals.  As more energy end uses become electrified, the share of electricity in total final energy consumption increases in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) Scenario from 20%, in 2022, to over 27%, in 2030, and to over 50% by 2050 [IEA, 2023].


Installed capacity  


Installed capacity worldwide in 2021 totaled 7,462.94 GW, of which [STAT, 2023]:


  • Fossil fuels                        4,436.42

  • Renewables                      3,026.52

    • Hydroelectricity                1,185.94

    • Solar                                  853.11

    • Wind                                  821.1

    • Nuclear                             375,53

    • Hydro Pumped Storage   174.51

    • Geothermal                       14.67

    • Tide & Wave                     0.52


The global electricity generation capacity is expected to double in the next three decades, surpassing 14.7 TW by 2050.  Also, by the end of 2022, China's installed power generation capacity was 2,564.05 GW [Reuters, 2023]

Electricity demand


Global electricity demand increased by 389 TWh (3%), in line with average historical demand growth for 2010-2021, reaching 13,393 TWh in the first half of 2022.  During this period, renewables met growing electricity demand, halting coal & gas (Figure 1).  Global electricity gen in 2022 was 29,165 TWh [STAT, 2023]Figure 2 shows the global electricity mix (in this chart renewables exclude hydroelectric).  Figure 3 shows renewable electricity generation price-competitiveness (2000-2020).  Figure 4 shows Europe renewables electricity target for 2030.

Capacity factor


Nuclear energy has the highest capacity factor (83,1% - 2019).  Global weighted-average capacity factor of the others are: geothermal (70%), hydroelectric (50%), thermoelectric (46%), wind (31%), and solar PV (17%) [RENA, 2022].  The main reason for the reduced capacity factor of renewable resources is usually the availability of the energy source: the plant may be capable of producing electricity, but its "fuel" (wind, sunlight, or water) may not be available.  Some facts are:


  • Most turbines extract around 50% of the energy from the wind that passes through the rotor area.

  • For the same amount of installed capacity, wind can produces about twice as much electricity as solar PV [AR6, 2023].

  • Capacity factor of land based wind in the U.S. ranges from 24% to 56% (36% on average) [CCS, 2022].

Figure 1: Year on year change in electricity generation (Jan-Jun 2022)

ufkt0qdv v7.png

Figure 2: Global electricity mix - 2022

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Figure 3: Renewable electricity generation price-competitiveness (2000-2020)

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Figure 4: Europe renewables electricity target - 2030

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Fig 1 eletrific
Fig 3 price compe
Fig 4 ren eu
Fig 2 Elect
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